ConocoPhillips has made what the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) is calling a minor oil and gas discovery near the Balder Field in the North Sea.

“Preliminary estimates place the size of the discovery at between 1 and 5 million standard cubic meters of recoverable oil equivalent,” the NPD said in a news release Jan. 14. “The licensees will assess the well results with a view to further exploration in the license.”

Drilled by the Leiv Eirkisson drilling rig about 10 km (6 miles) northwest of the Balder Field, wildcat well 25/7-8 S hit several oil- and gas-bearing intervals with independent columns in its primary target, proving petroleum in the Lower Jurassic and Upper Triassic reservoir rocks, according to the NPD. This includes:​​​​​​

  • 28 m (92 ft) of sandstone, 5 m (16 ft) of which are oil-bearing, with good reservoir quality in the Nansen Formation;
  • 11 m (36 ft) of sandstone with moderate reservoir quality, 6 m (20 ft) of which are oil- and gas-bearing, in the Eiriksson Formation; and
  • 13 m (43 ft) of sandstone with moderate reservoir quality, 8 m (26 ft) of which are gas-bearing, in the Skagerrak Formation.

The NPD also said the operator, ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS, encountered three thin gas-bearing sandstone layers totaling 3 m (10 ft) with moderate reservoir properties the Sleipner Formation, which was part of the company’s secondary exploration target to prove petroleum in Middle Jurassic reservoir rocks.

In the Hugin Formation, also part of the secondary exploration target, sandstone layers were encountered with moderate reservoir quality and a total thickness of 25 m (82 ft), the NPD said. The formation is water-bearing.

“The well was not formation-tested, but extensive data acquisition and sampling have been carried out,” the NPD added. The well is located in production license 917.